The current pandemic brought the world to a sudden halt. Many business industries in Iran have to slow down or stop operations to avoid spreading the virus. How exactly did COVID-19 affect Iran and its traveling industry?
Iran is a country rich in cultural history and one of the most affordable places to travel. With its intricate temples, magnificent dunes, and fabulous Persian cuisine, many travelers will be amazed at what the country has to offer. Still, Iran is on its way in battling stereotypes in travel safety. Mainstream media may try to portray Iran as a nation with conflict, but the reality depicts a different situation. What we see in the media is a minuscule representation of what is truly going on in the country. Generally, it is an area safe for travelers, especially when they stick to tour guidelines while avoiding any legal violations.
Like many countries, Iran wasn’t spared from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. With almost 270,000 confirmed cases, the pandemic has definitely taken a hit on the economy, affecting businesses and livelihood both in the small and large-scale levels.
Iran’s small business owners are trying their best to stay afloat to keep customers pouring in. At present, a lot of companies with physical establishments placed safety measures, such as visual guides in keeping social distancing. Other businesses shifted their model through online commerce, something which expanded their reach to a larger audience locally.
BBC recently reported a new wave of coronavirus cases, as the country quickly reopened to stabilize the economy. Despite the number of cases, Iran has a lower death rate than expected even as it ramps up its COVID-19 testing. Nevertheless, the government advised the public to wear masks and practice social distancing measures to lower positive cases and death rates associated with the virus.
According to Reuters, many establishments had reopened since April of 2020 to battle the economic struggles caused by the virus. Establishments that have kept open include health clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centers for alcoholics, nursing homes, and urgent care increased their manpower due to the growing strain of the virus. Those which opened after the closures in March of 2020 are those involving retail, hospitality, and restaurants.
Despite the opening of most customer-related sectors, Iran still maintains its position to keep schools and learning centers closed. The proximity of students and staff will make it challenging to keep the virus at bay, especially for the younger population of learners. The government is trying its best to remind the public to take the COVID-19 measures seriously by staying at home as much as possible while finding alternatives such as homeschooling or distance learning for students.
As livelihoods are impacted by the spread of coronavirus, travel, and hospitality industries in Iran may move to the budget category This means that people will take measures to cut down expenses in their travel such as choosing budget services, airlines, and lodging.
This indicates something to the tourism industry–by providing open options such as lower prices in tours, hotels, food, and other related services, business owners can still attract customers despite the effects of COVID-19. Additionally, travelers in Iran prefer establishments that practice hygiene and safety guidelines to ensure that they won’t contract the virus.
If you are still determined to visit Iran sooner or later, arming yourself with knowledge is vital to avoid contracting and spreading the virus to others. Here are some travel guidelines that can keep you safe:
CDC states that people who travel have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Thus, a way to filter the air particles in public places is to wear a mask. When going to public places such as malls and crowded areas, don your masks even before entering.
Another tip that travelers should take is to wipe hotel tables, beds, and bathroom surfaces with disinfectant wipes. Alcohol-based wipes work the best in cleaning virus-laden surfaces, and it is ideal to keep a travel-size one handy for wiping when arriving at your lodging place.
There are crowded traveling destinations in Iran, but there are also isolated areas such as national parks, deserts, or large temples that allow social distancing to be entirely possible. Choose these areas instead of those where human congestion is likely to happen, such as malls, local parks, or other retail establishments.
Most local restaurants in Iran have close-knit spaces. To avoid exposure or contact with others, you can choose to have food pick-ups or drive-thrus in restaurants when ordering food. This way, you can still enjoy Iran’s cuisine without increasing your risk of getting the virus. Staying inside establishments with poor ventilation may expose you to more health risks. Washing your hands as frequently as you can is also a responsible measure for your co-travelers and others.
Even with feet itching to explore the world, it is still wise to keep the health and safety guidelines imposed by experts when traveling. Many do miss the excitement and novelty that traveling brings, and being armed with knowledge can keep you safe from the virus while overseas.
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